Kerbal Space Program

The Duna transfer window is a little ways off, but I’m ready for it anyway.

On top of a 3-NERVA transfer/relay stage, there’s an orbital science satellite, a lander with drogue chutes for Duna, two landers with no chutes for the moons, and a spare relay satellite for better coverage of the Duna system.

I’ve been plugging away at my Probes Before Crew game, and I continue to really like how it progresses. I just completed my Strategia Mun Probes contract (land a probe on 3 munar biomes) and am getting read to send my first Kerbal (Valentina, of course) to the Mun, along with some of the Breaking Ground modules that I’m interested to try out. I also added Snacks! to my mod-list because I wanted something lightweight that prevents me from leaving Kerbals in space forever.

Once I get something interplanetary going, I’m thinking about starting up a game with Galileo’s new JNSQ planet pack, which looks pretty interesting. It’s a 2.5x scale pack, so more realistic than normal scale, but still doable with stock engines.

Got Valentina to the Mun and back, which netted me almost 1,000 science for just that one mission.

Here she is with her science controller (which will never do anything because this is on the far side of the Mun and can’t transmit back to Kerbin without relay. Oh well.)

And during the ascent, she decided to do a little spacewalk.


Wow that is so cool! So you’re recovering those outer engines I gather from all the parachutes? I’m surprised you’d be close enough to get credit for them? Or are you using a mod like further physics?

Also, which engines are you using for inside and the center line? and for your little satellites?

Stage Recovery for, well, stage recovery—it calculates terminal velocity based on how many parachutes you have and refunds you a percentage of the value based on impact speed and distance from the launch site.

I only get about ~50% value on these ones even before the distance factor—four parachutes is only enough to slow the stage to ~10m/s. Each booster runs about 20,000 kerbucks, and I get ~8,000 back each. (It’s asparagus-staged, so a little more for the first two off, which land closer, and a little less for the last two.) After the last two side boosters separate, it dips down to about 0.7 TWR for a little while, but it’s high/fast enough by that point that it doesn’t matter.

The side boosters are Mainsails, the center booster is a Skipper, the Clipper’s transfer stage has three Nervs on an engine plate, and the satellites use the wee little Spark. I don’t recall offhand what the satellites mass, but they’re pretty simple—1-2 batteries, 1-2 solar panels, a small reaction wheel, some science instruments, and a QBE probe core. The single 1.25m tank with the Spark engine yields about 2km/s of delta-v, which is far and away more than I’ll need, and the Spark also has decent specific impulse in atmosphere, so it’s a fine choice for a Duna landing.

How do you know if you’re going to need radiator panels?

Also, any of you using memgraph? The hitches every 6 seconds are starting to drive me nuts and apparently memgraph can push those hitches out to every 2 minutes instead?

If the last thing you sent up overheated.


OK I have a major problem. When I go to look at my sentinel satellite, it is fine for 1 second and then spins itself apart after that. Thankfully I have a savegame I can reload, but I can’t get it to not do that. How can I fix this?

Also, did I put my docking port on backwards? If so, is there a way I can pull that one off and put one on the right way while in space?

You appear to have two docking ports stuck together? Try right clicking on it and pressing undock?

Also you really should test these things on the Launch pad :) (e.g. I don’t think you’ll need that many ladders on the far end. Infact, unless you plan to land it, ladders aren’t all that helpful in space!)

I’m a noob for sure! Also I’m scared of EVA so I wanted them to stick to ladders lol.

So I decoupled and now I have no docking port at all. So did I indeed install it backwards?

Honestly, trying to use ladders in space is going to almost certainly result in you using EVA propulsion to return to the ship after the ladder janks you off anyway.

So is there some way I can install a new docking port in space? Like doing a spacewalk to install it?

Not that I’m aware of without using mods (and even then, I’m not sure any of them support a part as large as a docking port).

You can

  • load the space station into the SPH, fix the docking port, then hyperedit it into orbit (cheat solution)
  • use a Claw with a docking port attached to grab onto the station (stock, not-cheat solution)
  • use KIS (Kerbal Inventory System mod) to attach a new docking port to your station (mod soution)

Spend up a MK2 version of the station that actually has a docking port, rendezvous with it in orbit and Eva the crew across! Then deorbit the old one.

Is that to de-orbit it or can that add a docking port? I’m not sure I’ve even seen a “claw” yet?

I spent 8 real world hours yesterday building this rover + ship… only to find out it is too off balance and wobbly to fly :(

Video of robotics above

It drove really well too!

You can clamp a Claw onto another vessel and it joins onto it. It’s usually used for retrieving asteroids, but you can use it for rescues and as an ad-hoc docking port as well. So you can add a docking port that way. If I remember right, the Claw has a setting that makes it rigid too, so it’s a pretty solid connection.